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triggering sample files at live gigs


LeesKeys

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for about the past month, my band's drummer has been playing songs using a click track at live gigs and practice. I've started playing around with using prerecorded wav files, recorded at the same bpm, to add additional parts the songs which I can't cover without growing a third arm/hand. I found that this works well for simple, sustaining tracks such as playing a single pad recording for a predetermined amount of time, or a more complex riff briefly. However, it gets dicey very quickly when triggering more complex parts, such as selected horn parts on Stevie Wonders Signed Sealed Delivered. the samples are activated with a foot switch. The problem is that if my timing with hitting the switch is even slightly off, then the longer the duration of the part, the more apparent it is that it's off tempo.

 

does anyone have thoughts about how to handle these more complex samples? or should I just stick to the simple stuff?

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Use a sequence. Have the sequence send him the click track from an auxilliary out. It plays the samples in the right time and you don't have to mess with the footswitch.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Right, but it means that the sequence has to start the song off; you become the "clickmeister" at least for those songs, and the band can't alter the arrangement or forget a verse.

 

Playing to a click is a skill that a lot of drummers don't have. Yours does, and IMHO that's the bigger hurdle here. Regardless, the whole band has to be in accord for this to work.

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You should not have to record a click track. It is simply generated by the sequencer. On my Roland the click track is is assigned to the sub output on the workstation seperated from the rest of the Roland's audio output. The click is fed from the sub out on the Roland to the drummer's monitor mixer and mixed in with his IEM feed.

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Did this with a group years ago with a Macintosh. The drummer had the click in his headphones, and away we went. Odd hearing nothing from the puter for many bars, then horn shots or additional parts come in. We did fine, but god forbid you happen to drop a beat/screwup anywhere. :blush::laugh:
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You should not have to record a click track. It is simply generated by the sequencer. On my Roland the click track is is assigned to the sub output on the workstation seperated from the rest of the Roland's audio output. The click is fed from the sub out on the Roland to the drummer's monitor mixer and mixed in with his IEM feed.

 

 

I always did a separate click track anyway in order to have control over it. We had some pre-recorded audio intros...like when the band is walking onto the stage....that goes right into a sequence when we start playing. It all ran together, so rather than the drummer have to listen to a whole bunch of clicks then know when to count us in, I just started the clicks when he needed to count us in. Also, you can make the clicks stop when the drummer is supposed to stop, even through the sequence has to keep going for a couple measures for sustained notes. It's not that big of a deal to find a good sound, record a measure of clicks, then just copy and paste it through the whole song.

 

The nice thing using a sequence instead of prerecorded is that if you decide you want to bump the tempo a bit one way or another, fine, just change the tempo - you don't have to re-record. Not to mention if you want to make changements to the arrangements. Plus, you have a clock with measures and beats. A couple times in my old band, the drummer would get off for one reason or another and I'd hit stop, advance a few measures in the sequence, and hit start on the 1. We'd pick right back up and would be fine. It took some skill, but it avoided some potential trainwrecks.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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You should not have to record a click track. It is simply generated by the sequencer. On my Roland the click track is is assigned to the sub output on the workstation seperated from the rest of the Roland's audio output. The click is fed from the sub out on the Roland to the drummer's monitor mixer and mixed in with his IEM feed.

 

 

Has anyone does this with a Kurzweil keyboard?

 

 

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Has anyone does this with a Kurzweil keyboard?

 

Your PC3 can't play back .wav files, so you're not helping anything by using the Kurzweil to generate the click.

 

You need to find a way to synchronize not just the click, but also the triggering of the samples, to ensure everything stays in time.

 

Ableton Live, or Mainstage, or any other number of DAW hosts can do this for you.

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I use Reaper, which I'm assuming should work.. So I'm still not sure how to go about doing this. If I use my DAW to create an audible click track, insert riff wav files at the appropriate measures/bpm, and render the project, then I have one wav file with both the click track and the riffs audible- so how to set up so the click track is audible to the drummer, but only the riffs are audible through the PA for the listener?
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Can't he just sequence the click track in the PC3 and send it to an Aux out? I don't have a PC3, but I don't get why he can't do that, and then on another sequencer track, trigger samples, or better yet, just sequence those parts as well.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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If I use my DAW to create an audible click track, insert riff wav files at the appropriate measures/bpm, and render the project, then I have one wav file with both the click track and the riffs audible- so how to set up so the click track is audible to the drummer, but only the riffs are audible through the PA for the listener?

 

Answer: pan.

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Can't he just sequence the click track in the PC3 and send it to an Aux out? I don't have a PC3, but I don't get why he can't do that, and then on another sequencer track, trigger samples, or better yet, just sequence those parts as well.

 

The PC3 does not play back samples.

 

Sure, if he wanted to sequence the part, your suggestion works, presuming the sounds he needs are in the PC3; but it sounded like it was lengthy "production" type parts, and he already has the samples. That's what I was replying to.

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Can't he just sequence the click track in the PC3 and send it to an Aux out? I don't have a PC3, but I don't get why he can't do that, and then on another sequencer track, trigger samples, or better yet, just sequence those parts as well.

 

The PC3 does not play back samples.

 

Sure, if he wanted to sequence the part, your suggestion works, presuming the sounds he needs are in the PC3; but it sounded like it was lengthy "production" type parts, and he already has the samples. That's what I was replying to.

 

Ah, I guess I was thinking of the PC3K

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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If I use my DAW to create an audible click track, insert riff wav files at the appropriate measures/bpm, and render the project, then I have one wav file with both the click track and the riffs audible- so how to set up so the click track is audible to the drummer, but only the riffs are audible through the PA for the listener?

 

Answer: pan.

 

So I send the file to my drummer's Aux channel. He hears the click track and riffs as we go through the song. When you refer to panning, I'm guessing that panning would reduce the click track volume to zero while maintaining the volume of the riff. But it's still rendered as on master wav file- the audience would hear the click track as well as the riffs. What am I missing?

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Okay, let's look at a few options.

 

1) You have a stereo output from your computer (2 outputs). You pan the click hard left (so it only comes out the left physical output). You pan the .wav file hard right (so it only comes out the right physical output). You send the left output to the drummer, and the right output to the FOH PA.

 

2) You invest in an audio interface that has 4 outputs. You send the .wav file out 2 of the outputs (effectively LEFT & RIGHT) and the click out one of the remaining two. Click goes to drummer, stereo .wav goes to FOH.

 

 

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Okay, let's look at a few options.

 

1) You have a stereo output from your computer (2 outputs). You pan the click hard left (so it only comes out the left physical output). You pan the .wav file hard right (so it only comes out the right physical output). You send the left output to the drummer, and the right output to the FOH PA.

 

2) You invest in an audio interface that has 4 outputs. You send the .wav file out 2 of the outputs (effectively LEFT & RIGHT) and the click out one of the remaining two. Click goes to drummer, stereo .wav goes to FOH.

 

 

Thanks, I think I have a basic understanding of what needs to be done now.

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If you don't want to bring a laptop, you can just use an iPod or something. Back in the early 2000's I played in a band that used a MiniDisk player (remember those?) and did it just as Sven suggests - panned hard L/R, click just to the drummer.

 

Personally I prefer sequences, but if you already got the audio bits, lay it down with the software of your choice, save MP3's, and put it on an iPod or something.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I've got a PC3K and am doing many variations of sequencing.

 

Tried a Macbook recently, but did not got it fully stable. Combined with the small cables (power) and afraid of leaving the laptop on stage, resulted in moving back to my PC3K.

 

We try to play everything live, but sometimes we need some backingtracks (percussion, brass, synth-stuff, dance)

limited to 6 pieces.

 

I use several options, click-track out of aux outputs

 

- audio file of the full songs

click-track mono 8KHz and Audio in stereo in 32KHz to limit the space, only 128MB available. This works on the PC3K. 100% stable.

 

- Midi files

 

- Midi files with some samples

Uptown Funk, low-voice 2 bar sample,

I've got a feeling intro sampled (yeah!), that is used in multiple parts of the song

 

- two samples of one bar that are repeated samples

This is a setting in the sample editor from the kurzweil.

I use this in a percussion loop audio sample and a clicktrack audio sample of one bar. The click-track runs all the time and I can enable the percussion loop when i want, but it keeps in the same timing and alignment as the click-track, so no chance of not aligned triggers.

Use it in "Stop Loving You" (percussion runs almost everywhere, except just after the instrumental part)

 

So could be done in several ways with some Kurzweil tricks. No laptop needed.

 

My setup: Kurzweil PC3, Kurzweil PC3K6, Rolls PM351

Nord Piano 5-73, Nord Stage 3
Author of QSheets: The fastest lead sheet viewer in the world that also plays Audio Files and send Program Changes!
https://qsheets.eriknie.synology.me/

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We don't use audio or MIDI files, but to avoid having the Sticks hitting at the beginning of every song, the X32 iPad app. works great, as the mixer is reset with FX and routings for every song the iPad calls up, and we have a Monome 128, which is 8 x rows of 16 LEDs that can start the tune as the tempo is stored with the "performance."

The days of the drummer clacking his sticks is so Alexander Graham Bell-ish...

 

When the lighting is dimmed, it's so much easier having bright colored LEDs to follow.

But even then it only lights up for 8 bars then goes dark.

Just a great way to tame the adrenalin once things start hopping.

Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
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If you don't want to bring a laptop, you can just use an iPod or something. Back in the early 2000's I played in a band that used a MiniDisk player (remember those?) and did it just as Sven suggests - panned hard L/R, click just to the drummer.

 

Personally I prefer sequences, but if you already got the audio bits, lay it down with the software of your choice, save MP3's, and put it on an iPod or something.

this is what we've done. We record complete song tracks on Pro or even Garage Band. First track is the clck for the drummer, we'll usually give him 4 clicks to get his tempo, then 4 clicks for him to tap in the rest of the band. then whatever other tracks we want for the song are recorded.

 

Mix his click panned hard right, everything else panned hard left and generate an mp3. Load the mp3 in his ipod which he plugs into a (idunno, a simple splitter box of some sort) - run both channels to his IEM (click right, rest left), just the left to FOH. let him control start of song. its a mono track to fOH, but most houses run mono anyway and crowd often can't appreciate a stereo track - all that "narrow sweet spot" discussion in the ssv3 thread.

 

if drummer can play to a click, its an easy approach.

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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